By the time you read this, I will most likely be an uncle again. If my sister-in-law can keep from going too much further past her due date, that is. Depending on how you count, I'll be an uncle for the 13th or 15th time. Another niece or nephew number will be coming along in June. This is happy news, delivered twice, without having to listen to the bubble-headed blonde chattering aimlessly on Channel 7.
Combine that news with the ongoing marriage debates over on the political forum, and I find myself wondering why I haven't become a father. For other than the obvious reason, that is. Maybe it's my biological clock ticking away, setting off alarms before I get too old to deal with a toddler. Or the thought of dealing with a teenager when I'm in my sixties. I'm in my forties, and I've begun to think that I would be a good father, and that Steven would be an ever better one. His patience is much greater than mine, for one thing.
I tell myself we could adopt, or find a surrogate. So my mind bounces off of the logistics. We'd have to move to a larger house. How would a child fit into our life? How would we cope with raising a child, while caring for a parent who's mind has begun an inexorable slide in senescence? Am I greedy in wanting a healthy child, rather than a more readily adoptable special needs child? Either way, could we afford to raise a child on just my income? Would it be one commitment too many?
Is it unreasonable to want to hear my son say "I love you, Daddy" or to sit in a doctor's office as he receives his first shots? Is is selfish to want to experience a daughter's unconditional love, or to want to dance with her at her wedding?
But then it might be wishful thinking. I don't know if it's marriage that's made me consider the possibility. But I'm beginning to think that the moment has passed, that it's too late to provide grandchild number sixteen.
Which is a shame, because I'd be a good father.